INTERVIEW: Kishida Govt to Value Experts' Panel on Imperial Succession


Tokyo, Oct. 18 (Jiji Press)--Japan's new Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno has said in a media interview that the government of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is ready to keep intact an experts' panel on stable Imperial succession launched under the previous administration and will respect the results of the panel's discussions.

Asked when the experts' panel will reach its conclusion, Matsuno noted that the panel, set up under the administration of former Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, "has had full-fledged discussions carefully" on issues including stable Imperial succession, which were included in an additional resolution that the Diet, the country's parliament, passed when it enacted in 2017 a special law allowing the abdication of then Emperor Akihito, now holding the title of Emperor Emeritus.

How to proceed with future discussions, including a timeline, will be decided by the panel, Matsuno said, adding that the government will continue paying attention to its debates. The government will consider the appropriate timing for reporting the outcomes of the panel's discussions to the Diet, he also said.

On North Korea's abductions of Japanese nationals decades ago, the top government spokesman noted that 19 years have passed since five abductees returned to Japan from the reclusive country in October 2002.

"Since then, however, no abduction victim has been brought back home," Matsuno said. "It is very regrettable that many abduction victims are still trapped in North Korea."

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Jiji Press